Natural Lighting

How much natural lighting your salon receives will depend on the building location and the number of windows your salon has. Sunlight is naturally diffused by the atmosphere, so it offers a softer rendering than the harshness artificial lighting creates. Enhance your salon’s natural light with large, unobstructed windows and skylights where possible.

Natural Lighting

Lighting Temperature

Bulb temperature is very important in beauty salon lighting. Measured in Kelvins, lights that are high on the scale (e.g. a white LED light comes in at 7,000 Kelvin) create crisp lighting that can be harsh on skin tones and complexions. For this reason, salons tend to use lighting in the middle range (3,000 to 4,000 Kelvins) for a more flattering light. Most people tend to look good in this lighting temperature because blemishes and other aging signs are softened against the rest of the skin. It is a good working light for stylists and therapists also as it allows them to see hair tones and colours accurately without being painfully bright.

Anything under 3,000 Kelvin for lightbulbs and you enter pinkish-yellow tones of light which can distort some people’s hair colour.

Lighting Temperature

Colour Rendering

Another important element of seeing a client’s hair colour accurately is the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of a lightbulb. If the CRI levels of your salon’s lights are very different from those of natural lighting then your customer will encounter a different perspective of their new hair style upon leaving your building. This can be difficult when it comes to hair dying treatments. If the lighting is wrong, some clients may feel that the colour of their new hair style is very different when they get home to its appearance when the hair was initially dyed. 

A low CRI level creates a dull, washed out look on everything it hits in your salon. So instead, aim for a high CRI level (close to 90) to help make your clients’ hair colours look alive and radiant, and more in fitting with a true perspective of their style.

Colour Rendering

Positioning and Placement

Be aware of the shadows you create with your beauty salon lighting design. Dimming is great for setting a calm and relaxed mood and keeping the glare level of your lighting down. Too many shadows though, especially around your stylists’ chairs, and your therapists and stylists will not be able to see what they are doing properly. Down lighting, such as created by using pendant lamps, can be a great salon feature aesthetically, but be conscious of the unattractive shadows they can create on people’s faces and install lamps which correct for this if you choose to use them.

Another tip, don’t fall into the trap of installing light fixtures that spread the same amount of light all over the room, this effect can make your salon look very plain and dull. Contrasting areas of lighter and darker spots in your salon can contribute to the high-end, quality atmosphere that you wish to create. 

With the right budget you can mix and match various lighting styles, for example, using warm bulbs around mirrors to flatter your clients’ complexions while bringing in soft overhead lighting to illuminate the work space and remove unwanted shadows.

For any more information or advice about beauty salon lighting, contact me today at

Positioning and Placement

› Beauty Salon Lighting


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